MSPA Americas member companies provide a myriad of services to manage and measure the customer experience.
Collecting administrative data
, such as call volumes, wait times, number of telephone hang–ups, answered and unanswered calls.
Evaluating website statistics
, such as the number of people visiting a site, pages viewed and return visits.
Direct customer feedback
, including suggestions and complaints.
, obtained via social media, the internet, mail, or telephone
Customer satisfaction measurement
, to survey customers’ overall level of satisfaction.
Focus groups (qualitative market research)
of targeted people asked to give an opinion or comments on various concepts, products or services.
of a clients’ actual customer base while they are shopping. This may include intercepts, which is asking customers questions about the service they have just received as they are exiting an establishment.
Reports and results delivered or accessible to a client within 24 hours of the store visit.
Audio Recorded Shops
Shops in which sound is recorded. Restricted by law in some states.
Shops during which a client’s competitor is visited and information is noted on the same survey used by the client.
Customer Service Evaluation (also known as General Mystery Shopping)
Independent contractors pose as customers and complete a survey regarding policy compliance, customer service, selling skills, facility appearance and/or product quality after leaving the facility.
Customer Service Training
The results of surveys are tabulated, and then training is developed based on areas needing improvement.
Mystery shopping conducted on the Internet.
Mystery shops to collect information on the treatment of customers representing varying demographics. This may be requested by the client to ensure equal treatment, and may also be requested by the government. These types of shops may be restricted by law.
Incentive Based Shopping Program
A mystery shopping program whose results may include rewards to the employees who were shopped.
Shops in which employees are evaluated covertly to measure/determine their honesty. Restricted by law in some states. MSPA Americas advises only those with private investigator licensing perform integrity testing.
Internet Performance Evaluation
Utilizes the Internet to evaluate performance of Internet-related transactions.
The capability of a mystery shopping company to send reports to the client over the Internet, or the capability of a client to access the reports via the Internet.
IVR (Interactive Voice Response) Reporting
The capability of a mystery shopping company to receive reports from shoppers via an automated telephone response system.
Overt or covert visits to check merchandising and point of purchase issues, including, but not limited to the stocking, placement and pricing of specific merchandise and POP materials. This is often requested to ensure policy compliance by either a retail store or the manufacturer of the product.
The use of pre-recruited independent contractors trained to anonymously evaluate a business using a prescribed evaluation form. The evaluation may take place in person at the business establishment or through other public media, such as telephone or Internet. Mystery shopping is also referred to as secret shopping, spotter services, shopper programs, undercover performance evaluations, anonymous consumers, shopper audits, Virtual Customers®, and so on.
The overt/covert evaluation of adherence to operational guidelines. Usually survey-based with yes/no questions and supplemental comments.
The overt/covert recording of the prices of various products or services. This process is usually used to evaluate pricing compliance by a retailer or manufacturer, or to respond to price changes among competitors.
Questionnaire and Program Design
A service offered by mystery shopping or marketing research companies to assist clients with survey questions and program design.
Specific Individual Evaluations
A shop requested by a client because there is reason to believe that procedures are not being followed by a specific employee.
Telephone Performance Evaluation
This evaluation utilizes a survey to covertly evaluate an employee’s or call center’s compliance with telephone procedures.
Video Recorded Shops
Shops in which video is recorded for either customer service or integrity. Restricted by law in some states.
Shops in which an employee should suggest a certain brand of product without prompting by the mystery shopper.
A practice shop which is almost always unpaid. Some companies require applicants to perform a mock shop in order to evaluate their observation and writing skills.
Performing a mystery shop by phone.
An account of a shop written in the form of a story as opposed to a closed ended questionnaire.
The document with the questions to be answered by shoppers. Also called a shopper report, evaluation form, or survey.
Suggestive Selling/Cross Selling
Suggesting an additional item in the process of a sale.
Selling of a more expensive item than the one the customer inquired about.
How do I explain mystery shopping to my employees so they won’t be concerned? feared?
The best way to explain mystery shopping and gain support from your staff is to be straightforward about why you are using this type of service.
Explain that objective data will be gathered and used to improve the customer experience and ensure consistency. Tell staff that using a mystery shopping service is an investment in the company, and that they should continue to follow approved policy and procedures.